SSS Strategy Review 2024

Further to recent correspondence across the membership the Executive Council of SSS has elected to undertake a refresh of the organisation’s strategy, so as to best position SSS to meet current challenges and future opportunities.

SSS is facing some funding challenges over the next 12-18 months, driven mainly by an indication from Scottish Funding Council (SFC) that its current grant funding to SSS (@ £100k p/a) will be discontinued after 31st July 2025.

In addition, SSS is facing inevitable rises to its core costs at a time when asking members and individual participants to pay more is expected to be difficult.

Alongside the pressure on resources there is, however, also an opportunity to think differently about SSS and to explore alternative approaches to the future. Perhaps the single biggest opportunity in this regard will come from reviewing our relationship to sportscotland. SSS will be invited in to discuss future funding arrangements around Oct 2024 ahead of sportscotland’s new financial year in April 2025.

It is therefore a very interesting moment to be thinking afresh about our core priorities and asking the right questions about where our focus and responsibilities should rest from 2025 onwards.

With this in mind, all members and partners are asked to contribute to a short strategic review exercise this summer.

Phase one of this is to complete a catch-all survey aimed at gathering a range of views.

All those with an interest are invited to complete the survey which can be found here.

Those completing the survey are asked to:

  • Confer with colleagues if this seems appropriate (although multiple responses per institution are welcome)
  • Refer to existing SSS literature as included in tandem with the survey (see below)
  • Familiarise themselves where possible with SSS’ current funding, structures and output

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The survey will stay open until midnight on Monday 17th June. To see what’s included in the survey before filling it out, click here.

Thereafter, the SSS Executive Committee will oversee further consultation with members and partners which will include:

  • A session to explore interim results and gather view at the SSS Conference on 13th June
  • Consideration of the full survey results at Exec Council meeting on 21st June
  • Dedicated meetings with key groups including College leads, sabbatical students and Directors/ Heads of Sport during July and August
  • A series of partner meetings to be concluded by end August

This will allow for a revised strategy to be issued and tested with members during September and give SSS a clear direction to carry in to sportscotland review meetings in the autumn.

Looking ahead to summer of 2025 some change seems inevitable and so even if we are not yet clear what we transitioning towards it is very likely that some organisational changes will come in time.

Nevertheless, in 2024-25 SSS will likely aim to stay true to our current direction and ambition, funding for which our partners have already committed, and to carefully time any structural change so as to deliver for our members, honour partner commitments and where possible, protect our staff.

If at any stage you wish to discuss the future of SSS, please reach out to COO Stew Fowlie or to Jonny Pearson via chair@scottishstudentsport.com

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